Chairman, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Board of Trustee, Chief Sam Alabi, said operators in the tourism sector in Nigeria have taken a lot of lessons from the experiences of the past that had stalled businesses.
“Since many are now aware and used to the safety protocols, it will be easier to contend with the pandemic’s second coming.
“Furthermore, it is unlikely that the government will impose unduly long lockdown policy like the previous one.
He tasked the Federal government to put everything in place to forestall another lockdown as this could be detrimental and further weakens the economy of the nation.
Tourism Sector will Not Go Down, Says Lone Travel Award Winner
Bethia Idoko, 2020 winner of African Travel Times Magazine Awards as the Best Female Lone Traveller in Nigeria expressed the conviction that the tourism sector in Nigeria would not go down but survive against all postulations.
“If the tourism industry survived the first wave, it would survive the second wave. Tourism and hospitality, in general, suffered a hard blow due to travel bans and restrictions resulting in huge losses so far.
“However, the second wave will pass over and things will get back to normal again. It is only a matter of time. In my opinion, what the government needs to do to attract foreigners to the country for tourism is by identifying all the tourist attractions available across the 36 states for official and proper documentation with empirical facts and figures.
Suggesting ways, the government to further assist the sector, Idoko emphasized the need to redress the state of insecurity in the country, provision of infrastructure around the tourist areas like hotels and resorts with good roads, conscious publicity about places of interest on the global media as other destination do and establishment of airports and train stations close to tourist attractions for easy accessibility.
Besides, she suggested an arrangement for celebrities’ endorsement of the various sites and run publicity campaigns on the social media thereby making the places attractive to others from other parts of the world and encouragement of private sector partnership with the government.
However, she disagreed with another lockdown, saying such would spell doom for the country and jeopardize whatever is left of efforts made for the sector to bounce back.
Idoko advocated for a deliberate social responsibility and sensitization as the panacea to forestall another nationwide spread.
“Nigeria can’t afford another total lockdown. Nigerians suffered and the government did very little to help people in need during the first lockdown. Even palliatives as simple as food were hoarded and not given to those in need.
“Most countries that locked down provided some form of relief to their citizens such that they can eat if nothing else. But in a country like Nigeria where most people live on daily earnings, another total lockdown will mean so much suffering for people,” Idoko added.